Dear Birth Mother,
We are here because chemotherapy fried Tanya’s ovaries. That was a few years ago, and since then infertility has been a struggle, but a purifying struggle that has made us stronger and better. We thank you for considering all of the options available to you, including adoption, and hope you will feel peace in the decision that you make.
Why Adoption? Why now?
We initially thought about adoption 2 years ago, but the timing was wrong. I have realized that no matter how many holistic remedies I take, my reproductive health will not be restored. I called an old friend to chat about adoption. She placed her son 18 years ago, and has been an adoption advocate ever since. She is currently leading an awesome nomadic lifestyle, so I literally never know where in the world to find her. As luck would have it, when I called her out of the blue, she told me she was on her way to speak at an adoption conference in Utah that very week. So, naturally, I attended. And, now, adoption just feels right. I strongly believe that we all have access to divine guidance in our lives. Call it instinct or intuition, but I trust and know that our family is destined to grow, and that the time is now. I also trust that if we are the right family for your baby, you will know that too. ~Tanya
Tanya’s version: Nate and I met online. After Nate finished medical school in Australia, he was home in SLC where I was working at the downtown homeless shelter. We hung out a few times in person, and I thought he was such a good person, but I was afraid he would like me more than I liked him. So, I kept my distance. Then one night, he said, “Hanging out is fun and all, but I want to take you on a real date. I have a good feeling about you, and I want to find out where this leads. Because, that is what it is all about, right?” I was floored and instantly ATTRACTED! This nice, and somewhat timid guy, was suddenly so bold. I started planning our wedding soon after, and four months later we were on a plane to Central Australia as husband and wife. Following Nate to the other side of the world is the best decision I have ever made.
In Nate’s words: After our first date I remember saying to myself “we could have a lifetime of great conversations together.” Getting to know Tanya was fascinating. There was so much to be interested in. She was working at the homeless shelter at the time. She had driven a special needs bus in Salt Lake, taught sunday school to children in a Sudanese refugee congregation, worked in Alaska, taught English in Taiwan, etc., etc. She even drove from Houston to Phoenix by herself to start working wilderness therapy, having never camped before. She is a strong woman capable of many things. When we first started dating, neither of us expected too much. But soon enough it was obvious that what we had between us was worth keeping. I knew that in two months I was moving back to Australia for work, and I did not want to leave without her, so we got married, and I took her with me.
On becoming parents:
It took us a few weeks after little Nathan was born to realize that our lives were forever changed, and there was no turning back. Between the two of us, we have lived in South Africa, Chile and Alaska, backpacked through Southeast Asia, bicycled through South America, taught English in Taiwan, and worked with the Aboriginal population in Central Australia. Being mommy and daddy is hands down our favorite adventure. We get to experience the magic of childhood and this world all over again through our son’s eyes. Little Nathan is currently 4 years old. He loves preschool, trains, his friends, painting, playing in the snow, camping, and his grandparents.
A life-threatening diagnosis:
“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.” -Bob Marley
Nates experience: One day life was pretty normal, and the next day everything turned upside down. We were busy with a 9-month-old, starting to plan for our next baby, when out of the blue Tanya was diagnosed with Leukemia. She spent much of the next 4 ½ months in the hospital, getting several rounds of chemo and eventually a bone marrow transplant. We had wonderful family support, with many from both sides of the family coming to Omaha to help with our boy. I was in residency, an already demanding stage of physician training. Despite my crazy work schedule, I slept in the hospital with Tanya most nights, and was still available for our son every morning and night. Needless to say, I was a wreck. She, on the other hand, was confident and peaceful. Her hospital room felt like a holy place. People came to visit and offer support, and usually she was the one comforting them. There were some scary times in there too, but she made it. Recovery was slow and steady at first, and 6 months after the transplant, she was basically back to being a full-time mom. She has been healthy and strong for 3 years now. In fact she is training for a triathlon and in 18 months her doctors can officially declare that she is completely cured.
The day to day:
Nate is a psychiatrist and only works 2 weeks out of the month. This allows for an abundance of family time. Some of our favorite activities are hiking, bike riding, snowshoeing and camping. We also love just being home together for family dinner, working in the yard, and watching movies with popcorn and snuggles.
After traveling to Australia and Nebraska for Medical training, we are finally home in Utah. We have settled in an adorable rural mountain town. Our house backs up to a small horse pasture, with a clear view of the back of the Wasatch Mountain range. The air is clean and crisp with plenty of sunshine. Our community is close knit with celebrations, like 4th of July fireworks, A weekly Farmer’s Market, Easter Egg Hunts, and multiple Christmas Celebrations. We love it here, and we are excited to raise our family in a place where our children will know their neighbors, and have easy access to outdoor adventures.
What Tanya loves about Nate:
Even after a long day of work, he plays trains, hide and seek or tag with our son. He considers house work his work too, and does the dishes every night. He laughs at his own jokes. He supports my passion for natural healing, even if he doesn’t understand it. He recycles. He’s a world traveler. He is a gardener. He is a gentle soul who isn’t afraid to do his own thing. He is such a good father, and I am proud that our son constantly says, “I want to be just like daddy when I grow up.”
What Nate loves about Tanya:
We have now been together six years. The great conversations still continue, as I predicted and I love that we get to keep having adventures together. If we do anything good or interesting, it is more than likely that she is the engine behind it. She makes caring for our son and me the center of her life. Her love for Nathan is so profound, and he also loves her dearly. She makes spirituality a priority in our home. She cares deeply about the world and its people. And while she is as good as they come (in my eyes) she doesn’t have to pretend to be perfect, and lets the world see her as a genuine person. That’s the woman I love.
How little Nathan feels about his mommy, daddy, and a new sibling:
“I like that daddy kisses me so much. I like that he plays with me all of the time and that he likes me.”
“I like that mommy spends time with me, and that she makes me laugh and takes care of me.”
“I want to teach the new baby how to play trains. It will be happy with a baby”
This week little Nathan prayed, “Please make more people in our family”.
One day we were talking about getting a puppy, after our sweet 14 year dog passed away, and little Nathan passionately objected, “No!!! I want a new baby, not a puppy!” (thinking he could only have one or the other).
As you can see, we are all waiting for the day that we are graced with another child in our home and family.
In closing, dear Birthmother, we hope to find you soon.
Nate, Tanya and lil Nathan